166 VEBDICT ON IXDIA
All the world is familiar with the picture of Hitler retiring to *
Berchtesgaden to escape from the adoration of the multitudes (for
whom he has openly expressed his profound contempt), seeking
happiness in solitude, listening to the still small voice of his cele-
brated 'instinct,' which is translated into commands that must
be obeyed without question
Look upon, that picture and on this. Romain Holland, one of
Gandhi's most passionate advocates, writes : '.The Mahatma is
literally sick of the multitude that adores him ; he at heart distrusts
numbers; he is happy only in solitude, hearing the "Still Small
Voice'5 that commands.9
The distrust in numbers, the refuge in solitude, the sacred
* Voice* and the necessity to obey it... to what goal do these
tendencies conduct ? Democracy or Fascism ? The answer,
surely, is too obvious to be stated.
* God has chosen me as his instrument.' Gandhi has said this
on a number of oc^asi >ns.1 So has Hitler. So has Mussolini, It is
not on record that Roosevelt or Churchill have staked similar
claims, and some of us prefer their reticence. We do not all take t
kindly to astute politicians who make a corner in God—and even
Gandhi himself would not deny that he is a very astute politician
indeed, though of course he would put it in his own way.
The acid test is his insistence on infallibility. It is the first and
last justification of all dictators.
'L'etat c'est moi,' said Louis XIV.
*I am the German people,* said Hitler.
'The Duce is always right,' said Mussoliixi.
*I am the Hindu mind,' said Gandhi.
Where, precisely, is the difference ? I am not the only persons
who would like to know the answer to that question* The Muslims
would like to know it too. Anybody in doubt as to the ceaseless
apprehension with which they regard the supernatural eminence
of the Hindu political idol should study some of the Muslim
League publications, for example a brilliant piece of creative
analysis entitled Nationalism in Conflict in India? Here is the
-author's comment on the present situation :
1 See Gandki in India, an Anthology (Tripathi Ltd., Bombay).
•Muslim Printing Press, Daryagenj, Delhi, 1943,